Arsenal Miss Champions League, Koscielny Misses Cup Final

Arsenal 3 – 1 Everton

Today’s post on Arsenal Street is brought to you by the letters ‘Y’ and ‘O’. As in, Y-O-Y did we play so badly in the first three months of this year?

That was,  Arsène said, because the “psychologically, the environment for this group of players was absolutely horrendous”. And what caused that? The manner of defeat against Bayern Munich and “certainly my personal situation has contributed to that”.

The upshot is that for the first time in his reign, Arsenal missed out on next season’s Champions League. It was the fault of the “technical department”, Wenger insisted. Mea culpa?

Unsurprisingly, some chose to blame Martin Atkinson for not giving Middlesbrough a penalty at Anfield, disingenuously shifting focus away from the myriad reasons such as not being ready for the season and any number of dropped points this season.

We didn’t miss out on the Champions League because of referees; shooting ourselves in the foot is very much second nature. That was underlined by Laurent Koscielny’s dismissal. No arguments at all; it wasn’t, as Wenger claimed, harsh, nor was it over-reaction from the referee. It was a red card, pure and simple, and a moment of ranks stupidity Koscielny regrets.

And it leaves Arsène with a massive defensive headache for next Saturday. Gabriel is doubtful for the Final, which highlights Koscielny’s lunacy. It defies belief that an experienced player makes a challenge like that, losing all self-control in the heat of the moment.

The impact of his actions registered immediately and most of the players on the field twigged what it meant as well. But it is what it is. The man whose goals rescued Wenger on the final day of the season at West Brom and Newcastle, could undermine the club’s cup ambitions.

Kingdom of Fear

Gabriel’s injury compounded Koscielny’s stupidity; the pressure on the defence next weekend intensified. Illness kept Shkodran Mustafi out of the side – and Kieran Gibbs – with injury likely to mean a cup final recall for both.

This week will hold many plot twists, I’m sure, not least with a warning to Chelsea and other clubs about the shenanigans at Stamford Bridge being a sign of the collusion which is the very heart of corruption which hangs like a pall over the game.

Arsenal though, performed well on the whole yesterday. Everton showed the right amount of the lack of ambition required to screw Liverpool’s hopes up and we did out bit with three well-worked goals, including a peach of a finish from Aaron Ramsey.

For long periods of the game, it was hard to see who was down to ten men. Even so, Petr Cech pulled off some outstanding saves and surely got himself into the cup final starting line-up. Harsh as that is on David Ospina, it’s about trying to win silverware and Cech’s form recently significantly contributed to the usual end of season charge.

Not as much as Alexis’ goals and inexplicably, there are still members of the tin foil hat brigade who think we’ll be better off without him. Disloyalty comes at a price even if the manager is back-pedalling furiously on his public criticism of the player.

Kroenke received the bulk of the criticism and vitriol in yesterday’s charged atmosphere. Wisely, Arsène decided not to take part in the walk of shame – or lap of appreciation as it is properly known. The players enjoyed a relatively trouble-free amble around the turf with the little ‘uns.

Fear and Loathing in the Transfer Market

The season isn’t yet over. Next week’s cup final is something to very much look forward to, even with the hints of trepidation about the quality of the opposition.

Once that is over, we embark on the toughest summer in Arsène’s reign. Yesterday, he observed that we needed “one or two” players to add to a squad he feels is important to keep together.

Taking Wenger’s words literally is a dangerous game. With the cup final left, criticising the players causes problems and any hint of disruption sends this side into ‘wobble’ mode. We saw this year how badly that can affect us.

My guess is that keeping Alexis and Özil remains his primary target. Last year’s striker, Alexandre Lacazette, is off to Atletico while Monaco reportedly turned down £100m for Mbappe. Wenger must look elsewhere to solve that problem.

I don’t believe that missing out on the Champions League will affect our actions in the transfer market. Plenty of quality players move to clubs not in that tournament. Padding the pay packet quells that disappointment. Exiting the competition every year in the Round of Sixteen is surely equally detrimental.

There’s a groundswell of opinion that we should ‘mug off’ the Europa League. That’s folly, in my view. The winners get into the Champions League and the state of Arsenal right now, leaves me to believe it’s our best route back into the competition.

I honestly don’t see us improving significantly enough to overhaul the current top four with serious investment this summer; goalkeeper, two central defenders, central striker. As well as Arsène’s usual foray into the market for a midget midfielder.

It’s going to be a fun summer.

’til Tomorrow.


77 thoughts on “Arsenal Miss Champions League, Koscielny Misses Cup Final

  1. Bufallo says:

    “Yesterday, he observed that we needed “one or two” players to add to a squad he feels is important to keep together.”

    Morning all, so basically he intends to do nothing different than he’s done every year before. Also he wants to keep together a squad who finished fifth and were destroyed by bayern. Okay.

    I couldn’t care less about the cup final i’m afraid, i have no appetite to win it, all it will do is give kroenke and wenger undeserved breathing space and the usual excuses….besides i dont think we will anyway, and Kos moronic tackle hasnt helped. Again, what was the player thinking and why was the manager defending him ? They’ll never learn, much like their boss.

    Total shambles, dishonesty from the club abounds….i truly hope the heat is on kroenke, he is getting away with robbery…..sticking two fingers up at each and every arsenal fan

  2. Adeoye says:

    I wish we had been producing these results before now. We left it too late. It hurts to know that there won’t be St Totteringham’s day… I hope we have a consolation trophy come May 27th. Hello everyone.

  3. silvergunner says:

    Morning YW and all others.
    So we didn’t make it, this the 1st season I genuinely felt we would make it then remarkably on the last day they was that stupid and folly hope that Liverpool would blow it.
    But alas we only have ourselves to blame.
    The squad need more than just a couple of players we have signed the wing-back Kolasinac, but question marks surround the midfield and striker we have needed for years still hasn’t arrived.
    I don’t think we need a another CB we have Kos, Mustafi, Gabriel, Holding, Chambers and Monreal that can play there assuming Mert is moved on. Priority should be a number 9 that can truly make the difference, then it should be an upgrade on coquelin.

    On the Uzbek bidding to oust silent Stan, I am happy some pressure is being put higher up the hierarchy, too much of the blame is hurled at Wenger whilst he isn’t exempt from all blame some should be levied at the owner/board for letting things fester for so long.

  4. YW says:

    Reports this morning that Kroenke Jr is keen to talk to Usmanov. Even Bob Wilson is saying the board need to engage with him.

  5. andy1886 says:


    Let’s hope that the uncertainty draws out some other bidders even if it is hard to think of who might be an acceptable owner.

    Oh, and I’d just like to add that John Terry is a narcissistic twunt. In case anyone was in any doubt. The clubs concerned should be admonished for agreeing to such a ridiculous charade.

  6. silvergunner says:


    completely agree that was traumatic to watch on MOTD made me feel phyisically sick.

  7. silvergunner says:


    Could it be that the uncertainty at ownership level is what made Wenger dally so much with the unfulfilled promises of contract clarity? Maybe Wenger doesn’t want to work with the Uzbek as an owner?

  8. Pete The Thirst says:


    I’m looking forward to the Cup Final. I am lucky enough to have a ticket. I will take winning the FA Cup over finishing in the top 4.

    Of course the FA Cup doesn’t generate the funds that the Champions League does, but football is about winning trophies.

  9. Sam says:

    all the talk is about Wenger’s future going into a cup final and both he and the Board seem to think this is the way to prepare?! Empire’s never end well and Empire Wenger is imploding.
    Tycoon owners are never cuddly people but we’ve got 2 right pearlers to choose between.
    Mustafi might miss the final due to concussion apparently. Hope big Per is feeling sprightly. Hope Cech plays instead of Ospina.
    We’ll need an awful lot of luck to win this one.

    JT – well at least he’s retired.

  10. andy1886 says:

    Pete The Thirst,

    Absolutely. Some people seem to be oblivious of the fact that when the club’s honours role is checked there are no actual ‘Fourth Place Trophies’ listed. The FA Cup really is a trophy so has to take priority over merely taking part in a competition that we have zero prospect of winning.


    Sorry to disappoint but I thought that he isn’t retiring, just leaving Chelsea. He’s been linked with a number of smaller PL clubs.

  11. Ras says:

    Good Morning YW. R Abromovich we must remember has rarely spoken to the Media so ‘our’ Silent Stan is not alone in his silence.

    AW looked so beat up yesterday after the final whistle. He age before our eyes. Bereft of any colour, involuntary uncontrollable spasms, ticks that show the man is tortured and he wants to continue??.. Masochist.

    The talk of needing ” just one or two in” makes me laugh.

    Gibbs, Debuchy and Per ALL HAVE to be moved on without a bat of an eye lid. I would add TW and OG to that list. It will be interesting to see whom will survive the ” Cull”.

  12. Pete The Thirst says:

    The chanting against Kroenke yesterday has taken some of the focus away from Wenger once again. He’s a slippery customer, but the cupboard of excuses is running out: the finances are now in rude health; Leicester proved tactics can win a league; Champions League consistency has gone…where else can he go…”Technical Department” ???

    Oh and the Kroenke chant was like something out of a West End Musical with added pseudo Yank accent. Bizarre.

  13. begeegs says:

    YW: Reports this morning that Kroenke Jr is keen to talk to Usmanov. Even Bob Wilson is saying the board need to engage with him.

    Hi Yogi

    Where did you happen to see these sources?

    Many thanks

  14. Maria says:

    What a turn around on ACLF! Sadly, as much as I love Wenger something has to give eh

    Btw hey all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Wailesy says:

    I thought Wenger was the “technical Department”
    One or two players is what he says every year. Let’s not forget he spent 100mil last summer + Elneny in the Xmas window before that only to be pulled apart by Bayern and finish 5th in the league.
    He’ll call making the FA cup final a success having beaten Man City and Soton and we’ll all have to lump it for another 2 yrs minimum. Fucking crazy stuff.

  16. Orson Kaert says:

    Good afternoon Folks.

    The usual rambling nonsense from Wenger, desperately looking for someone, anyone to blame but himself. He strikes me as a man who, given a mirror on a stick, would struggle to find his own arse.

    Perhaps the boy Josh is a better business man than his old dad, turning down a $1 billion offer is not something to do in a rush.

    I don’t like Usmanov any better than I like Kroenke, and that’s not very much at all, but surely it would be better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.

    With Koscielny and Gabriel definately out, if Mustafi is also ruled out then we have to go with Holding and Monreal as twin centrebacks, I just can’t see Merts coping with the pace and movement of Hazard, Costa and Pedro , play Bellerin and Gibbs as fullbacks, put Xhaka and Elneny either side of Ramsey in midfield with Sanchez and Ozil plus one of Giroud, Walcott or Welbeck up-front. I don’t care which, none of them are good enough to do any good.

    Cech is in the best form of his season and must start in goal. Ospina is off in the summer so hurting his feelings by putting him on the bench is just hard luck, let him take one for the team.

  17. C says:


    Hey, when is the last time you were around, its been a while.

  18. Stu says:

    I love the FA Cup. It has tradition and meaning, even if football finance has reduced it’s perceived importance and cretins at the FA changed the 3pm kick off in order to line their pockets with more TV dosh. Despite wanting change at Arsenal, I hope we win it.

    I am concerned though that if Chelski play to their strengths we could be on the end of a beating, akin to that we gave Villa a couple of years ago. Early season beatings are part and parcel of the past decade as we scrabble for some third rate signing at the last minute, but an end of season public humilation doesn’t bare thought.

    And then there is the John Terry factor. Andy summed him up perfectly earlier.

  19. Bufallo says:

    Pete the Thirst fair enough chap hope you have a great day, sadly i’ll be offline for over a week so wont even know the result until a week later. My point is not to do with missing out on fourth or the money that generates its that i just dont feel any pleasure at the prospect of us winning the cup under these circumstances, with this manager and owner. Sad but true for me, i never thought i’d feel like this about arsenal but there you go, its been over a decade of gradual erosion of faith. Let’s not forget we had an unbelievably easy draw for the most part. I agree a trophy is a trophy but at the moment all this trophy will do is give an excuse to get the wallpaper and paste out once again when in all truth we had a very easy journey to get there…..and a win in the facup doesn’t change the mess the club is….in fact it masks our problems further.

  20. Bufallo says:

    Terry not a great guy think we all can agree but my god what i wouldnt give for a captain like him, talking straight after the game sunday about the league was done and how they now absolutely had to win against arsenal, come what may. Pep talks about being 12 points or so off the top of the league, a big gap, a lot to make up. Our manager talks about losing by a point?!, doesnt accept the obvious about the first day defeat being now crucial to that and our current captain gets sent off for a schoolboy challenge in the final game before the facup. It’s pathetic, no other word will do.

  21. buckagh says:

    I absolutely want change and would like to see Arsene and the civil service he has assembled move on as they are clearly bereft of new football ideas, and there recruitment had been average at best, but I also absolutely disagree with your hope yesterday that we would lose yesterday and in the cup final at the weekend, there are tens of thousands of Arsenal people who pay good money and make the effort to go to matches home and away, and hopefully win every match we play,

  22. Bufallo says:

    “KSE UK, Inc notes the recent media speculation concerning its shareholding in Arsenal Holdings PLC and confirms its shares are not, and never have been, for sale.

    “KSE is a committed, long term investor in Arsenal and will remain so.”

    This is why i want us to lose the cup so everyone can give him hell at the final.

  23. Bufallo says:

    buckagh i respect the fact the majority probably dont agree but that’s how i feel….tens of thousands of people being ripped off every season by kroenke

  24. Dukey says:

    I’ve been on gardening leave for the last few months. I’ll be taking it for another year or two maybe. The attitude of our club stinks right now and it’s unfollowable.

    Would not be surprised if koz deliberately got a red to avoid the cauldron of mental toughness of a Wembley final v a top tough side such is the mental capabilities of our players.

  25. C says:

    I really did enjoy the match though, I thought the team played really well and played like they did at the start of the season, actually we have been playing like that after the shit middle part of the season. The strange thing is why can’t Arsene get the team to play well in the middle of the season.

    I will say, its funny that people criticize Gabriel for having a mistake in him when he plays but Kos has one in him since his arrival and at this point in his career and the importance of him to this team, its idiotic for him to make that challenge.

  26. C says:

    Apparently Mustafi is a major doubt after suffering a concussion during the Sunderland match and is the reason he didn’t feature against Everton.

  27. Limestonegunner says:


    Can Chambers play? Getting desperate now!

  28. Maria says:

    I’m back at a time by cup really needs me C. I’m ready and willing to take my talents to Arsenal FC.
    Now where can I apply? I couldn’t find an opening at my local jobcentre.

  29. Maria says:

    I’m back at a time my club really needs me most C. I’m ready and willing to take my talents to Arsenal FC.

    Now where can I apply? I couldn’t find an opening at my local jobcentre.

  30. C says:


    I actually don’t think he can. Not sure how the whole cup tied thing works for the FA Cup. Hopefully Mustafi will be ready but if not then Nacho as the LCB has worked, the problem is and I don’t mean to soudn too harsh but Gibbs as a LWB doesn’t work at all either attacking or defensively.

  31. andy1886 says:


    The FA say that:

    “The FA and Premier League have set out clear ‘return to play’ guidelines for players who are suspected to have suffered concussion. Essentially, no player will be allowed to return for a competitive game for at least six days.”

    So you would think that Mustafi would be okay for the final.

    As an aside I would have no problem playing Mert as part of a back three. In that system his lack of mobility wouldn’t be a huge issue, plus he’s probably the best organiser at the club. Better that than Gibbs on the left and Nacho as CB anyway.

  32. Limestonegunner says:

    I imagine he’s cup tied, but it doesn’t s a mark of our desperation.

  33. Limestonegunner says:

    Hi Maria! Do you have a couple spare billion pounds to buy out Kroenke? Could be a big help!

  34. Wavey says:

    This is a letter from the summer RVP left, but I hadn’t seen it until now:

    This is a must read Arsenal supporters
    Share this page

    To: The Board of Directors of Arsenal Holdings Plc: Peter Hill-Wood, Ivan Gazidis, Ken Friar, Sir Chips Keswick, Lord Harris of Peckham, Stanley Kroenke

    With copy to: David Miles, Mark Gonnella

    5th July 2012

    Re: Open Letter to the Board of Directors of Arsenal Holdings Plc (the “Club”)

    Dear Sirs,

    In recent weeks a couple of separate actions have occurred, which have caused us, as a near 30% shareholder in the Club, to have serious concerns about the approach of the Board and the management team:

    • Firstly, there were some very deliberate and public comments by Ivan Gazidis which were intended to leave the Club’s supporters with an impression that Red & White is in some bitter stand-off with the Board over its desire for a Board seat and that our involvement on the Club’s Board might cause conflict and “destabilize” the Club; and

    • Secondly, OJSC MegaFon (Russia) received a cold call letter from Mr Gazidis requesting a meeting to discuss a possible international partnership deal including shirt sponsorship. MegaFon is one of the three largest mobile phone companies in Russia and also happens to be over 50% owned by Alisher Usmanov. Is this really the level of professionalism that is being applied to securing long-term commercial contracts?

    Let us not forget that we have invested circa £200 million of cash in the equity of the Club. We are part of this Club and naturally want the best for it, but our investment is less important than the fact that we are loyal supporters and will never do anything that would destabilize or “create conflict” at the Club.

    We do however believe that you, the Board, and the executive management team should focus your energies on the most efficient operation of the Club and desist from seeking to create a false enemy in Red & White. In our view it is clear that you are trying to distract attention from the more fundamental issues facing the Club, and which indeed many of the supporters discuss through social media sites and other forums on a regular basis. These are the financial model, the lack of investment and the Club’s future strategic direction.

    However, before addressing these points, it is important to deal with the issues surrounding a Board seat for Red & White once and for all. As you all know well, Mr Usmanov has never sought for himself a Board seat at the Club. Indeed Mr Usmanov does not hold any board seat in any of the companies where he is an investor. Since the purchase of our first share in the Club, we have not only steadfastly adhered to a policy of non-interference in the running of the Club, but have consistently supported the management and given no reason whatsoever to be accused of subversion or sabotage. The history of our voting in support of the Board at the annual general meetings is proof of this.

    Indeed, in any conversation about conflict, it is clear from a look at the history of the Club in recent years that the Board has achieved conflict without the help of any outside parties, notably the acrimonious departures of David Dein, Keith Edelman, Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith and Richard Carr, who then reappeared on the Football Club Board. You also instituted a lock-down agreement originally to prevent Mr Kroenke from gaining control and then, later, to exclude our involvement even though there were no grounds or need to do so.

    The real conflict seems to be between the supporters’ expectations and your vision for the Club and at the heart of this is the policy of so-called self-financing. The self-financing model was created to suit the major shareholders at the time, all of whom subsequently sold their shares.

    The previous decision by the Board to fund the building of the Emirates Stadium with long-term debt was, we believe, certainly not about self-financing. If it had been, it would have been funded through a mixture of debt and non-dividend equity. Instead it allowed, in our view, the major shareholders of the time, who happened to all be Board directors, to load the Club with a liability, to benefit from increased future revenue streams and consequent increase in the value of their holdings, whilst avoiding dilution of their equity. The Board of the time then appeared to pursue a policy of increasing ticket prices and squeezing the fans to cover the short term cost increases which allowed them to bridge until all of these shareholders and Board directors sold 100% of their holdings and cashed out at vast profits.

    This policy does not seem to have changed. We have sought and been refused any meetings with Mr Kroenke despite the fact that we own almost 30% of the Club or to put another way almost 1 in every 3 seats in the stadium. It is clear that our stated policy for the major shareholders, namely Mr Kroenke and ourselves, to inject non-dividend paying equity into the Club by way of a rights issue to reduce the debt and invest in the future is of no interest to the Board. Mr Kroenke was sold a vision by the Board at the time that the Club could be successful without further investment, so he is pursuing a similar policy which is to run the Club without any investment and to avoid any dilution of his equity, a good part of which was funded by a loan from Deutsche Bank AG to KSE, UK, Inc. at the time of the mandatory offer. The status of that loan and whether it is still outstanding has not been clarified by Mr Kroenke.

    As a consequence of this policy, which is dressed up as prudent financial planning, it is down to our manager, and not the shareholders, to have to deal with the Club’s tight finances, carry the burden of repaying the stadium debt by selling his best players and having to continue to find cheaper replacements. All of that, naturally, comes at the expense of performance on the pitch.

    This policy is leading to the loss of our best players, often to our main competitors, and even causes the players themselves to question their future at the Club and the Club’s ambitions. The situation with our captain and outstanding performer from last season Robin van Persie sums this up. Yet again we are faced with losing our true marquee player at the Club because we cannot assure him of the future direction and give confidence that we can win trophies. Where are the safeguards to ensure that this doesn’t happen again and again in the future? As a top Club we should, at the very least, match if not beat the offers that other clubs make to try and lure our very best players away, and also provide a more compelling vision of the future. You can try and put a good face on a bad game for as long as you want, pontificating about the merits of this model, but it will not hide the obvious fact that it just does not allow our great manager to fully realize his managerial talent and deliver success for the fans who are paying the highest prices in the land. It appears that a place in the Champions League will be the pinnacle of our ambition again next season. Unfortunately, in the future we may see this ambition lowered further. It doesn’t help to turn a blind eye to the reality of the situation and keep thinking of ourselves as being in the same league as Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona. To have a fighting chance of success, which means winning trophies, we need to match them in every aspect, including, if not first and foremost, financial.

    So what is Red & White’s vision for the Club? It is simple. A debt free Club, with a big enough war chest to buy top talent players who can hit the ground running and who can complement the Club’s long tradition of developing young players and homegrown talent. Together they can help the Club win the most prestigious trophies – because it is the trophies which are the crowning achievement for everybody at the Club. The trophies are also key to the commercial success of the Club – they increase the value of the players, the value of the brand, attract the best sponsors and maximize the value of our commercial contracts which should in turn mean that the Club does not have to squeeze any more income from hard pressed fans. We also believe in the transparency that a stock market listing brings so are committed to the Club remaining listed on the stock exchange and to greater fan involvement both through share ownership and also Board representation for the fans.

    Today we wish the majority shareholder Mr Kroenke every success in running the Club, even though we have deep reservations about the viability of the policies being pursued by his management team and sanctioned by the Board.

    Finally and reflecting our long-term commitment to the Club, we will continue to purchase more shares in the Club from anyone who wants to sell them to us. Also in order to formalize our long-term involvement with the Club and put an end to any speculation over our position, we, as the co-owners of Red &White, will proudly retain our holding in the Club as a long-term investment for ourselves and our family members to benefit for generations to come. We want the absolute best for the Club and will do what is necessary to ensure the success of the Club that we all love.

    Yours sincerely,

    Alisher Usmanov

    Farhad Moshiri

  35. Gris Gris says:

    Yogi, you are far more of a consistent performer than exists on the pitch, that’s for sure. Well done to you for another informative, entertaining, and intelligent playing season of commentary. Of course it’s not over yet, there’s the chance for real, if diminished in stature, silverware. It wouldn’t be Arsenal if a season like this didn’t finish with the chance for a trophy that, while maybe not what most would like to see, is nonetheless real. It’s a one off and anything can happen so hope springs eternal. Once that is done, though, and there’s nothing to take the spotlight off the mess that is AFC, it’s going to be a long, long summer. It’s almost like watching the slow-motion train wreck that is the political system here in the US. Each week brings a surprise, and not the kind you want to see until real change is possible.

  36. Orson Kaert says:

    Chambers is on a season long loan. He cannot be registered back at Arsenal until the transfer window opens on , I think, June 1st.

  37. C says:


    Not sure where you can apply cause I’m still trying myself, think I have to be a better talent elevator than what we currently have in the scouting department!

  38. C says:


    The thing with Mustafi is that according to reports, he is still having the symptoms of a concussion which is dangerous having had one myself. I guess he has an extra week to get better but rushing back from a concussion isn’t healthy at all.

    I have no problem with Mert as the middle of the back 3 with Holding and Nacho on either side of him as both are extremely solid. The one thing I would worry about, even though Xhaka has been superb holding down the middle, is that Ramsey will continue to go on walkabouts and that is the last thing we need against Chelsea.

  39. Limestonegunner says:


    Thanks for posting. I remember hearing about this and seeing some reporting with quotations of this letter. Of course Moshiri got tired of waiting and went and bought 49.9% of Everton. But whether it reflects what Usmanov oils actually do, who can say? But it is a coherent and ambitious vision. As I mentioned earlier and Yogi noted in yesterday’s post as well, he has always expressed great support for the manager. But he has expressed some criticisms more recently, I believe.

    Whether we win or lose the cup final, there should be more Kroenke out chanting, I hope.

  40. Limestonegunner says:

    YW, I’d be interested to see more about the rumours/source on the views of Bob Wilson and other board members including JK on Usmanov’s bid that you mentioned above.

    I have this vain hope that something might change at the ownership level. Which itself could be instrumental in reviving a more dynamic “technical department”, so to speak.

  41. consolsbob says:


    Crossed my mind, Duke. Things have sunk so low.

  42. Wavey says:


    I like the idea of the rights issue. Usmanov was effectively calling on Stan to actually put some money into the club by stumping up for his proportion of the rights issue, or have his shareholding diluted by others supporting the issue.

  43. Bufallo says:

    Don’t worry folks Stan is a long term ‘investor’……although he has invested nothing….no time, no money, no support, nothing except a wall of silence and an occasional consultancy fee received. Wenger claiming it’s not Stan’s fault….well then it must be his own (although he describes it as the technical sides failings, ducking and diving as ever, in fact he seemed to blame the fans for the ‘atmosphere’, an atmosphere he and the players created and have seemed perfectly happy to win in recently even though it had became even worse – he had no answer for that conundrum when put to him, i.e he nearly got away with spouting more bullshit until the reporter blew him out). 8million a year to be nice about Stan, wouldn’t take it myself but that’s wengers call but he cant claim to love the club and that Stan is not to blame in the same breath, Stan does nothing but damage and take from the club….i imagine he will now avoid the cup final, that would be just his sort of solution. Just sod off and stop profiteering from the club. Or actually start investing….rather than releasing a statement to try and cover your dishonest arse. Always happy to speak to defend/justify/lie about his intentions but strangely silent about every other aspect of the club…..mmmmmm dodgy dodgy dodgy

  44. Stu says:


    I remember reading this letter back in 2012 or 2013. I thought it was rather well phrased, balanced and politely left the ball firmly in the recipients court. It appears they just needed to pick the phone up, invite Red & White on board and then discuss the non-dividend equity investment. We may never know whether they replied and rejected the advances or whether they simply have AU and FM a silent two fingers. As we all know Moshiri got bored waiting and is now investing in Everton, so that’s another rival we may have to watch for if we keep paddling backwards.

    I said yesterday that we could end up like Liverpool under Hicks & Gillett. I hope not, but I genuinely fear that to be the case. We came 5th this year, it could easily be 7th next year behind Manure and the Toffees.

  45. C says:

    HAve to admit, been doing some reading up on our new LB and if we can keep Bellerin , we certainly have the makings of a top class FB pairing.

  46. Limestonegunner says:


    Yes, I remember that and came out in favor of it on this blog back then. There were a lot of creative possibilities within the self-sustaining model. As I said then, following an insight by Mike SA back in 2011/12 and noted interestingly in the letter above, the previous board followed s policy particularly of enhancing share price which they cashed in no rather than an approach that would have helped the team/club as a whole as a competitive entity. They and the subsequent board used the bogeyman of Usmanov to distract from this and pursue their own interests. A rights issue was one way to address the spiraling upwards of share price that had no benefit for the club itself.

  47. Limestonegunner says:

    Ever since Kroenke came into the picture, I have opposed him and asked one simple question that has never been answered by anyone, least of all by supporters of his stewardship (especially those claiming he was some sort of lesser of two evils etc…): what has he uniquely contributed to this club? I have nevertheless received any examples of anything he has ever done personally through his supposed business acumen, commercial contacts, or resources that has genuinely improved the club through his ownership. On the contrary, there have been incalculable opportunity costs due to his inaction. He has drained somewhere between 8-12 million pounds in legal transaction fees and consulting fees for the privilege of his ownership.

    I hope YW’s rumour (still would like to know more, btw!) is correct and that there is a chance to convince this cretin to sell his shares.

  48. Bufallo says:

    ‘I would like Alexis at Bayern. He is doing well at Arsenal but I think he has to take a step up and fight with the best in the world. He needs to play in a big club like us. Arsenal is not big.”

    We fall a little bit further down the pecking order every day, well done Wenger, well done Stan. Built the club did he ? My foot, tv and fan money paid for a new stadium and instead of investing the money in the club it is being syphoned off…..
    I guess Alexis leaves this summer and who can be surprised….will he replaced even…what with, the ‘one or two’ signings wenger thinks we need to make up that one point ‘winners’ difference.
    One or two players…..add a nought.
    Protest protest protest or we will just spiral down and down and down….perhaps mike ashley would like to bid for us…?

  49. Bufallo says:

    Limestone as far as i can work out as i cant find the podcast online, all Bob Wilson said is that Usamnov likes his football and therefore it would be a good thing if he were more involved….but i highly doubt Stan wants that and any noises from Josh about connecting with Usmanov, if true, are about as credible as the dailmail predicting a barbeque summer……more flacid pr. The lies flow like honey from this crew.

  50. Jonny says:

    From F365 – hard to argue…

    Arsenal’s board
    “I love this club enough to do my best every single day,” said Wenger after Arsenal’s fifth place was confirmed. “One thing you cannot question is my love for this club. I’ve turned down every club in the world to stay here.”

    That has never been in doubt, and switches focus from Arsenal’s manager to their board. In February, Sarah Winterburn wrote that Wenger was addicted to the light that blinds him, and that is the perfect phrase. Wenger has come too far to walk away, a servant to an institution that has become his dependency. If it is hard to imagine an Arsenal without Arsene Wenger, it is harder still to imagine an Arsene Wenger without Arsenal. There is no guard at the door, yet Wenger remains captive.

    This is why you have leadership, after all. Club owners may delegate responsibility on commercial sponsors, kit deals and myriad other economic decisions, but they sit at the top of the club for a reason. They are the ones who should decide whether a manager stays or goes.

    Arsenal’s leadership has not just been insufficient, but entirely absent. They have sent out their manager to face the same questions, week by week, month by month, year by year. They have left the decision in the hands of the person least able to make an objective call. In doing so, Arsenal’s hierarchy have allowed Wenger to act as a lightning rod for the club’s eventual decline. At best we can call it foolish, but at worst it is a calculated strategy to evade due scrutiny.

    Not every Arsenal supporter is hoodwinked into abusing the manager into the lenses of well-placed cameras around the ground, held in the hands of those looking to monetise frustration, anger and despair. Not every Arsenal supporter believes flying a plane asking a manager to leave is anything other than evidence of people with far too much time, money and desperation for attention. If that’s what football does to you, give it up.

    “Stan Kroenke…get out of our club,” the chant started on the North Bank. For three, six, nine years, Arsenal’s majority shareholder has sat back and watched as his manager endured questions over his position, growing in volume until they were deafening. Now it is time for Kroenke to take his own turn under a microscope searching for the cause of this debilitating Arsenal disease.

  51. Pete The Thirst says:

    Where is our friend from the Crown Dependency?

    Don’t mention the war. I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it! 😉

  52. Pete The Thirst says:

    Has the world fallen off it’s axis yet? Europa League it is then…

    Maybe the worm is turning? I got an email from the club knocking a large chunk from the price of the season ticket due to the drop out of the CL. Thursday night football doesn’t sound all that bad, the pubs are more fun on Thursdays too. More Sunday games? We hardly play on Saturdays as it stands.

    The Club doesn’t have the guts to drop the Cup Credits from the season ticket though. It’s an unusual practise not followed by many other clubs. The League Cup was dropped from the cup credits a number of years ago, and to fill the seats the prices were reduced to £10 a ticket. A fantastic idea that they should copy in other Cup competitions. Get more youngsters to games.

    The locals are restless and need placating…still it’s a long way from the £30 season ticket I had in 1988.

  53. lemayian wesley says:

    May, 2011. statement of sale
    “KSE’s offer for Arsenal Holdings PLC is wholly unconditional and we now look forward to a new and exciting phase in the life of the club. The plan is to maintain the PLUS listing provided there are a sufficient number of shareholders for that to be permitted.”

  54. C says:

    The funny thing about Arsenal (us) being in the Europa League is that I have heard that we fall short in the CL in the round of 16 every year and that Europa League, as far as European futbol goes, is about where we have fallen too. Well lets just see, I feel that we have quite a talented squad sans 2 players (running theme since the last of the Invincibles left), and if taken serious we could most certainly win it but will Arsene take it seriously, that is what remains to be seen. I think in the early stages we could definitely use the squad and young players closest to breaking through like Adelaide, Maitland-Niles (if both don’t go on loan next season) along with the likes of Le Coq, Ramsey (if we do buy the CM to replace Santi that we so desperately need), Ox (I prefer Bellerin at the RWB if we persist on with the 343 which I hope we don’t), Perez, Holding, Chambers and the rest and then once we advance to the knockout rounds use our starting XI as LG spoke about.

  55. Wavey says:

    Pete The Thirst,

    AST proposed that the Europa League be excluded from the cup credits on the season tickets and that the price of the games was reduced to £20 in a similar way to the League Cup. Gazidis responded that the club already had ideas in place and that the key objectives – fairness and strong attendances – underpin the work they had done in this area. Plans were due to be announced quickly. So they have come up with a proposed reduction of around 10% in the price of the season ticket.

    Well done Arsenal, you’ve done a fine job in really thinking it through. Clearly the guys coming up with the ideas have their finger on the pulse of the supporters, or is that hand around their throats. Going to be interesting to see how many actually turn up to a match against a team from Latvia on a Thursday night. Don’t worry, the attendance will be 59,500 because the season ticket holders will all be there.

  56. G4E says:


    “And it leaves Arsène with a massive defensive headache for next Saturday. Gabriel is doubtful for the Final, which highlights Koscielny’s lunacy. It defies belief that an experienced player makes a challenge like that, losing all self-control in the heat of the moment.”

    I think it leave Arsene with an excuse to lose the Cup Final to Chelsea?

  57. C says:


    Did you see that Nwakali continues to impress and scored in the playoffs?!? That lad has such a bright future and I don’t want to overhype him like many people think that I do but if he continues to push on and pushes through the ever so difficult “first team mental barrier” that so many youth struggle with, we could have quite a gem on the RW in the future. To be ONLY 18 and to get such rave reviews while out on loan is certainly nothing to be scoffed at. (Bill look away) but I think technically he is as talented now as Ox is when it comes to actually playing futbol and not just the physical attributes that Ox presents such as power and pace.

  58. Bufallo says:

    As i said about Gazidis reply to AST recently …..”thank you we’ll get back to you when we(Stan and i) work out a way to stiff you fans”….they hardly get credit for reducing prices for a lesser competition, frankly it smacks to me of that ‘waiting list’ not being quite as long as they claim. They pretended to listen and then graciously continued to rip fans off….it’s going to be a long summer of bullshit in overdrive while kroenke co. desperately work out how to polish their growing collection of turds. Good luck cowboys, afraid the cat is out the bag.
    Whoever believed a businessman who used the word ‘fairness’ – seriously how stupid are the pr people at Arsenal they treat fans like lobotomised lemmings….

  59. Wavey says:

    Allegedly in discussions to sign Onyekuru. £6.8m buy out clause, so he ticks the most important box for Arsenal and Wenger, he’s cheap. Apparently he has also attracted the attention of Brugges, Anderlecht, West Brom, Southampton and Everton. If he were a young lad we were bringing in to develop it would make sense, but Wenger would sign him to go straight in to the PL.

  60. andy1886 says:


    If true what would he be? Fourth or fifth choice? Is Asano going to be back next season? I’m not sure what the point would be, I can’t see him waiting two or three years to even get on the bench. He’d be better off at a smaller club and move up if he does well there. And AFC should be focused on a top class player, not fishing around in the bargain basement as usual.

    At least it would likely be the end of Sanogo. Every cloud and all that.

  61. Wavey says:


    The new Sanogo. Another youngster brought in because its hoped that he will be the next Henry. Thrown in at the deep end and then discarded when he fails. If he were genuinely close to the finished article the price would be a lot higher and the names associated with him would be more substantial. Gone are the days when Arsenal get a jump on everyone else by spotting a star who costs next to nothing. Of course we should be looking for a top class player who is established, but Wenger is still shopping in the bargain basement.

  62. nicky says:

    @Pete the Thirst,
    I’m here Pete, never fear.
    Irritable at all the doom and gloom being purveyed daily on ACLF about the present Arsenal governance.
    And waiting for the Club’s eventual new owner and manager to arrive so that the whole sad process of perpetual complaint can start all over again. 😉

  63. Bill says:

    Great review yogi

    Despite the fact that this years bad 1/2 of the season seemed to be the worst in memory, we actually ended up with the second most points of any season in this decade which just shows how well we finished the season and how desperate Arsene was to paper over the cracks. It’s all so predictable and remarkably frustrating. Hopefully missing the CL will be the catalyst to reignite the fire that was once present in Arsene’s belly and may be even cause the Kronke’s to consider selling the club. If either of those happen then this year might turn out to be a true blessing in disguise.

  64. Bill says:

    I agree with the article that Jonny copied and pasted to an extent. Clearly Stan is ultimately in charge of the club and get the ultimate credit or blame. However, anything that depicts Arsene as a victim in any way is misguided. Arsene has clearly been the architect and decision and co-conspirator and the maker of basically every important decision that has happened during this decade. Stan has been guilty of poor oversight but every shred of evidence we have indicates that Stan has given Arsene everything that he has ever asked for and would have given even more if Arsene had asked

  65. C says:


    Something tells me, Arsene views him as a cheap replacement for not buy Lacazette.

  66. Bill says:

    C @ 6:09

    If you keep saying that every single younger player who come thru the ranks has a really bright future then its likely that one of them will eventually work out and one of your predications will come thru. There is no prize for accuracy and no one is keeping track of the other 999 that you were wrong about. 😉

  67. Jonnygunner says:


    Bill…..I’ve been in Manchester for three days so I’m late getting back to you after my ‘fucking wierdo’ remark…which should have read ‘fucking weirdo’ of course.
    It was meant as a joke……but humour,like irony ,you don’t get.If you’re so smart why d’ya take the damn word aluminium and mess it up?😂…..and colour,honour……jeez.
    Just as long as we’re alright Bill

  68. MikeSA says:

    Sad news of a terrible incident in Manchester.

    Condolences to all those affected.

  69. Orson Kaert says:

    The BBC is reporting nineteen dead and over fifty injured by explosion at the Manchester Arena, following a concert by Ariana Grande.

    The blast was in the foyer as people were leaving.

  70. The Arse in Namib (AITG) says:

    Anyone who is not wanting to take the Europe Cup seriously is not paying attention to what is going on at United. That cup will be another feather in Maureen’s cap, a huge boost to the squad and the cherry on top of a turnaround season at ManUre who are looking solid.

    I have long been someone who believed we are robbed of silverware by flattering to deceive in the CL group stages and I would take the Europa over the FA Cup at this point. A change is as good as a rest and it is missing from our honours list.

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